On the Ground: New York’s JFK Airport presented the usual hustle and bustle as I parked my vehicle, with Global Traveler CEO Francis X. Gallagher in the passenger seat. We were flying together to the Middle East, first stop Cairo, to meet with clients. Originally we planned to use off-site parking, but a heavy rainstorm altered our plans, and we parked in the covered garage near the International Terminal entrance. We collected our luggage and made our way to the EgyptAir check-in counter. Fran had checked us both in the evening prior, and the friendly EgyptAir staff greeted us, reviewed our destination and checked our bags quickly.
We unfortunately did not have EgyptAir club access pre-flight but checked to be sure. We proceeded through security, which in JFK’s International Terminal turned into a game of ever-rolling bins without order and hastily making sure all our items were together in the end. At boarding time we were ushered to a separate line for priority seating; passing by the rest of the plane’s passengers, I noticed quite a few families and groups. We made our way onto the Boeing 777-300, where a pleasant flight attendant escorted us to our seats.
Pre-Flight: We were seated in the first row, which offered additional room and, as advised by EgyptAir staff, would offer a quiet alternative to the back of the section where many families sat. Amenity kits, headphones, a bottle of water and pillow and blanket awaited at our seats. The seats were spacious and comfortable, and the staff took our coats to avoid wrinkles and arranged our bags above in the storage compartment. EgyptAir does not provide alcohol, but attendants greeted us with fresh juice options as we settled in. I chose the orange as it was approaching flu season, and any vitamin C boost is helpful. After takeoff, I found the navigation screen useful to keep track of the time and our location en route to Cairo.
In-Flight: Each seat was equipped with a screen for onboard entertainment, and I enjoyed a great documentary about the Valley of the Kings and the pyramids. The visuals and information were inspiring and prepared me for our upcoming activities and meetings in Egypt. Other movies were available in English and Arabic for passengers to peruse. Our flight was in the evening, so we were served dinner right away. The flight attendants came around with a service cart and presented the options as each course was served. I would have liked to see a menu for review so I could know what was included in each dish, but the attendants answered most of my questions. EgyptAir offers culinary options for various religious-based dietary restrictions or allergies; you just have to inform the staff before your flight. The meal itself was delicious; I enjoyed a delightful shrimp cocktail and selected the beef as my entrée. We finished the meal with coffee, a selection of cheeses and nuts and dessert.
During our flight we experienced a terrifying bout of heavy turbulence. This sometimes happens while crossing the Atlantic, but Fran asked me if my seat belt was secure, so I knew my fear was justified. Luckily, we passed through safely.
My hunger satisfied, I reclined my seat, which was almost completely flat, and enjoyed the soft blanket. The ceiling in the cabin was dimmed, and aisle lighting looked like the night sky full of stars. This encouraged a peaceful slumber, and I woke to breakfast being served before we reached Cairo. The breakfast was delicious, with our coffee accompanied by reading materials. Prior to landing we received a simple form to fill out for immigration. The experience was overall pleasant for an almost- 11-hour flight, and Egypt itself proved a magical destination of wonder and history.
◆ If you enjoy wine or Champagne on your flights, as I do, have no fear. Though EgyptAir does not sell alcohol on flights, you are permitted to purchase alcohol in the airport and bring it aboard. The staff can store it and serve it to you in flight.
◆ If you have dietary restrictions, it may be best to pre-request a menu so you are fully aware of the culinary features on your flight. There is no printed menu in business class.
◆ The staff provided clever stickers for each seat which passengers could use to inform crew of requests to be awakened for meals, not disturbed and so on. A great, simple add-on.
My husband, friends and I visited Parkway Bakery & Tavern on a recent trip to New Orleans. The restaurant is one of the most well-known for the city’s signature sandwich, the po’ boy. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so we arrived close to when it opened and braved the already-long line.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
A survey conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by American Hotel & Lodging Association found 44 percent of Americans are planning overnight vacation or leisure travel in 2020, with interest for road trips, family events and long weekends high. Of those expectant travelers, 68 percent say they are likely to stay in a hotel in 2020.
The Rwanda Development Board announced commercial flights will be welcomed back to the country starting Aug. 1.
Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
LOT Polish Airlines resumed its first international flights since the suspension of passenger flights in mid-March on July 1, with flights to Berlin, Amsterdam, Düsseldorf, Barcelona, Prague, Budapest, Vilnius, Kyiv, Dubrovnik and Split. On July 2, flights to Vienna and Oslo began. From Warsaw’s Chopin Airport, flights to Toronto ramped up to seven times a week (from three) July 1; and to Seoul, up to five times a week, and to Tokyo, up to three times a week, from July 3.
As more destinations around the globe reopen to travelers, we are ready to get back to one of our favorite activities. Join us over the next several weeks as we take you to places around the world saying #WelcomeBacktoTravel. Take a visual journey through New Jersey’s beach towns with us.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.